jen7

Tattoos and psychological profiling

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I recently had a psych workup and had a look at the notes. One of the checklist items was "visible tattoos"

This kinda ticks me off.....is this a standard psych profile item? Any psych students or pros here? What is this supposed to signify?

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Now if it had said "invisible tattoos" that would be a different story! Lol

Seriously though, I really wonder if this is a "thing" in the psych community, or is it more of a general data point like height and weight.

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I'm not a psychologist, but...

So much of psych profiling is about context. If they're working from scratch with you, it might just be another scrap that they throw into the bucket of overall information.

I imagine given certain trends it probably IS safe to make some assumptions about someone with many tattoos, or at least use that as reinforcement for assumptions based on other things.

Like, maybe they weigh that against an individual's tendency to be pressured (or not) by societal/cultural norms, or acceptance of risk vs being risk averse, or...I dunno. Something like that?

Or maybe they're being judgy...but that would be weird and professionally counter-productive!

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Hey :)

Well, I have tattoos and I'm also a psychologist. Truth be told, we have an entire chapter to check about how our client looks like, and this of course, includes tattoos. This looks "chapter" is NOT as important as the others, but it is a source of information about our client - and any information we can get is helpful to better understand the client.

Some tattoos have meaning, some don't. We are interested in those with a meaning for the client.

Imagine a woman coming to your office, and she has a portrait tattoo in memory of her dead son. Maybe that's the reason she's there (the death of her son) and you'll want & need to find out more about it, and even if it's not, nonetheless it was an event that shaped your client one way or another.

And what if tattoos could talk? What story would they say? These are very good questions to ask the client once you have established a relation with him. Some people really like to talk about their tattoos!

There's also could be the case when a certain tattoo is related to a gang, to a rite of passage or even has a medical purpose (a tattoo which warns others in case of emergency that you have diabetes or certain allergies etc.) and it's important to find out the symbolism of these because it helps us, as I already said, to better understand the client.

I could go on and on, but the basic idea is that there's nothing wrong with your psychologist wanting to know more about your tattoos :)

P.S. - English is not my native language, so sorry for my mistakes.

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Wow, Excellent explanation, @amalia! Thanks! It makes perfect sense. And I guess that is why we go to therapists/psychologists: to dig into our psyche and help us find things that we are not aware of. Every hint helps in that regard.

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I was actually a bit surprised how cool a psychologist was with my tattoos one time. I made a joke something like "this must be an open and shut case for you with all this, you can actually read me like a book." But she was really nice, said everyone makes their choices, complimented my work and told me something similar to what amalia posted. Works better for making someone talk than telling them they look like a criminal, hah.

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You got a nice one. Mine was very negative about a few things. For instance, she asked me about my pets and I said I had a ball python and a rainbow boa. She made a face and said " pythons are the ones that kill people, right?"

I was not impressed.

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You got a nice one. Mine was very negative about a few things. For instance, she asked me about my pets and I said I had a ball python and a rainbow boa. She made a face and said " pythons are the ones that kill people, right?"

I was not impressed.

Wow, that sucks. Can you switch to someone else?

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You got a nice one. Mine was very negative about a few things. For instance, she asked me about my pets and I said I had a ball python and a rainbow boa. She made a face and said " pythons are the ones that kill people, right?"

I was not impressed.

Oh fun! That's like getting a doctor that prescribes you blood-letting.

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